Mar­ket mat­ters

If you think you’ve been priced out of the hot Peu­geot 205 mar­ket, then think again…

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

by Richard Bar­nett

‘It’s well worth con­sid­er­ing the con­vert­ibles and the Ral­lye mod­els’

For sheer driv­ing fun, where han­dling and grip are just as im­por­tant as all-out speed and ac­cel­er­a­tion, 1980s hot hatch­backs knock other clas­sics into a cocked hat. The com­bi­na­tion of prac­ti­cal­ity and driver engagement means they are as pop­u­lar to­day as they were when new, and their com­ing from an era just be­fore se­ri­ous amounts of elec­tron­ics were ush­ered in, makes them re­li­able and po­ten­tially longterm keep­ers.

There’s one par­tic­u­lar model that has ap­peared far more fre­quently at clas­sic sales than any other 1980s/early-1990s hatch­back, and that’s the Peu­geot 205, which fol­lowed on from the now largely for­got­ten 104 and set a bench­mark against which all other hatch­backs of the era would be judged.

While the GTi has been mak­ing head­lines thanks to se­ri­ously strong money com­manded by low-mileage and su­perbly re­stored ex­am­ples, the 205s wide range means small­erengined three- and five-doors, along with con­vert­ibles and even diesels, all serve up a thor­oughly en­joy­able driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

For those who feel they’re priced out of GTi own­er­ship, there is hope, as re­cent prices have re­vealed. The last Brightwells Mod­ern Clas­sics sale of­fered a clutch of ex­am­ples in 1.6 and 1.9 forms, the top price be­ing £4070 for a rea­son­ably good 1991 1.9. A 1989 1.9 drew £2530 while for some­one af­ter a win­ter project, a shabby 1989 1.6 was rea­son­ably bought at £770.

Worth hunt­ing out are Dimma-kit­ted mod­els, the bodykit serv­ing up some se­ri­ous stance. Sur­vivors are scarce but His­torics obliged in June with a Dimma-equipped 1989 1.9 model that made £9240.

As sum­mer is now a dis­tant mem­ory it’s well worth con­sid­er­ing a con­vert­ible model, which was avail­able in CTi form (with both 1.6 and 1.9 en­gines) and in milder, Ju­nior form. All of­fer sen­si­ble ac­com­mo­da­tion lev­els and make a good Golf and Es­cort Cabri­o­let al­ter­na­tive while be­ing slightly smaller. Rea­son­able and good ex­am­ples needn’t cost a for­tune, as Mor­ris Leslie’s 1988 205CTi 1.6 (£1520) and ACA’s 1991 205CTi 1.6 (£2310) showed.

Much for­got­ten, yet of­fer­ing a sim­pler take on cre­at­ing a sport­ing 205, the Ral­lye model has de­vel­oped a low-key cult sta­tus among

those who ap­pre­ci­ate its less so­phis­ti­cated air. Com­pared with the GTi, fewer mod­els were sold and not many ex­am­ples come to auc­tion, yet CCA scored well with a 1993 model sold for a good-value £2530. But for those want­ing some­thing not as fast but even more use­ful, Char­ter­house’s 1990 five-door au­to­matic made a first­class buy at £2100.

Top­less CTi 1.6, right, (£2301, ACA), Ral­lye be­low (£2350, CCA).

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